Retail BI Case Studies (from


1.       Department Store Chain Speeds Reporting, Saves $600,000 a Year in Technology Costs: Florida-based Stein Mart, a large department store chain, wanted faster data reporting and new analysis capabilities. It switched from an IBM-based business intelligence system to a solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 built on HP technology platform. As a result, Stein Mart runs weekly sales reports in 3 hours instead of 14 and has reduced its monthly technology costs by U.S.$50,000. The company also has new tools for business analysis and forecasting.


2.       Kimberly-Clark Cuts TCO by 30 Percent and Boosts Sales by 8 Percent with BI Solution: Global manufacturer Kimberly-Clark needed to accelerate access to business intelligence (BI) based on data from numerous systems so that it could speed efficiency and reduce costs. At its Brazilian subsidiary in 2008, the company deployed a mission-critical BI solution on the Microsoft platform that consolidates disparate data and provides one set of BI tools. As a result, Kimberly-Clark simplified IT and cut its total cost of ownership by 30 percent. It also increased productivity by 30 percent, transaction processing by 50 percent, and sales by 8 percent.


3.       South African Retailer Enhances BI, Achieves Data Compression, and Speeds Performance: Edcon, South Africa’s largest nonfood retailer, uses business intelligence (BI) as an important asset in managing its operations. With 50 terabytes of BI growing by 18 terabytes a year, Edcon needed an enterprise-grade BI solution that included data compression and fast performance. Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise helped Edcon create an enterprise-grade solution for its BI while gaining increased performance and data compression.


4.       Trading Company Improves Efficiency with Enhanced Data Analysis and Reporting: Based in Bangkok, Yip In Tsoi & Jacks Ltd. is a leading Thai trader and manufacturer that specializes in trading fertilizers, agrochemical products, and a range of other products. Because the company’s business divisions are separate, it was difficult and time-consuming for managers to analyze sales data and create up-to-date reports. To solve those business challenges, Yip In Tsoi & Jacks worked with sister company Yip In Tsoi Consulting Co., Ltd. to implement a business intelligence solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, and Microsoft Office 2010. Now managers in the company’s fertilizer product department can easily view consolidated sales data and create timely analytical reports. As a result, they can make faster and more accurate business decisions. The solution also eases IT management and can be expanded into additional business areas.


5.       Retail Company Accelerates Growth with Increased Visibility: ODEL PLC (ODEL), Sri Lanka’s leading fashion retailer, wanted a scalable solution that will enhance both management and operational visibility across its 15-store network. With Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV, ODEL empowered its aggressive growth plans with enhanced inventory management, comprehensive sales analysis capabilities and increased management visibility.


6.       Retailer Cuts Hardware Costs, Boosts Performance with Enterprise Data Solution: The Tema Group, which owns and operates the LC Waikiki retail clothing chain in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, must manage and analyze sales and inventory data from more than 300 stores. The company was using a data warehouse solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008, but a fast-growing data volume was slowing processing time and impeding users in accessing information. Working with Microsoft Services, LC Waikiki deployed a new data warehouse solution based on Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse. Pretested hardware and reference architectures boosted performance, simplified administration, and avoided excessive hardware costs. In addition, the solution’s familiar Microsoft administrative and analysis tools are intuitive and easy for employees to use.


7.       Global Retailer Boosts Agility and Efficiency, Simplifies Data Access and Reporting: To improve agility and data transparency, clothing retailer Tema Mağazacılık deployed a report generation and distribution solution based on the Microsoft platform. Flexible and easy to use, the mission-critical solution improves efficiency, making it possible for employees to create reports with charts and graphics in minutes. It also speeds access to 5 terabytes of data, facilitates consistency, and increases control over information.


8.       Microsoft Launches Innovative Retail Business, Delivers Customer Service Excellence: When the Microsoft Store decided to open retail locations to create closer connections with customers and let them experience new technology in an immersive experience, the deadline for the first opening was only a few months away. The retail group had to build a management infrastructure for an innovative, connected retail business. After reviewing many possible solutions, the Microsoft Store deployed Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail and integrated it with the corporate SAP financial system, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and specialized applications. The retail group completed the implementation on time, providing advanced management capabilities and extensive resources for reporting and performance management. Now, the Microsoft Store can easily scale to support the growth of its retail operation and deliver a compelling customer experience with consistent service excellence.


9.       Retail Chain Improves Operations, Sets Foundation for Growth with New Business Solution: Gangar Opticians, optical stores’ are branded as Gangar Eyenation with a chain of retail outlets and largest collection of brands and labels from the world over in frames, sunglasses and consumables. The company has crafted for itself a unique and irreplaceable brand image. With rapid growth, the company identified the need for a flexible business solution to integrate all its stores as well as processes with emphasis on improved customer services. Working with Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner, Godrej Infotech, it deployed Microsoft® Dynamics™ NAV 4.0 which was later upgraded to Microsoft® Dynamics™ NAV 2009. With the new business solution, Gangar Opticians optimized all its business processes, improved visibility into stocks across all the stores and enhanced staff management, thereby increasing profitability. Tax calculations and billing are now automated resulting in operational efficiency and enhanced customer satisfaction level. The company gains from a platform that supports future growth.


10.    Quraz To Reduce Operating Costs Through Improved Project Portfolio Management: Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, privately-owned Quraz is Japan’s largest and most successful provider of rental storage. With 36 facilities in all of Japan's major cities, each facility has 250 to 1,500 individually locked units ranging in size from less than 1 square meter to more than 15 square meters. All facilities are bright and clean, accessible 24 hours per day, and staffed with Storage Concierges during work hours to help with inquiries. To retain its competitive advantage, the company continually strives to be the most efficient firm in the industry. Quraz needed a solution to support the objective of more effectively selecting and managing projects that reduce facility operating costs. With the help of Arbutus Solutions, a Microsoft Certified Partner, Quraz identified a solution to meet this goal based on Microsoft Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010. The solution helps Quraz to more effectively select and manage projects aligned with business objectives.


11.    Premium Specialty Coffee Roaster and Distributor Manages Growth with Outstanding Quality: An unwavering commitment to artisan quality and the freshest roast-to-order products resulted in success for Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Growing order volumes in all distribution channels and steady growth meant the company could no longer use the same legacy, custom-written, and unconnected software to maintain the momentum. By collaborating with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Junction Solutions, Peet’s moved to a complete retail solution based on Microsoft Dynamics AX. Today, Peet’s efficiently practices its high-quality and customer service standards while growth continues. With a unified business management solution that enables efficiencies in all company activities, managers can conduct smart decision making and take control of the company’s future. Employees across the organization are fully empowered to deliver the excellent quality customers expect.


12.    Retail Company Automates Processes, Integrates Operations with new Business Solution: Established in 1991, Delhi based Devyani International Ltd. is an Indian franchisee of KFC and Pizza Hut chain of restaurants in agreement with Yum! Brands and UK's Costa Coffee chain. However, with a total of 130 outlets, the challenges of performing accounting, billing and reporting activities along with point-of-sales terminal management increased. With disparate systems and unconnected point-of-sales terminals the company struggled with manual processes that required extra man power and introduced inaccuracies. To address these challenges, it worked with Trident Information Systems, a Microsoft® Certified Partner, to implement an end-to-end POS retail solution based on LS Retail 5.0 built on Microsoft® Dynamics™ NAV 4.0 with Service Pack 3. The solution at DIL manages all the aspects of sales related business from point-of-sale to back-office management including promotional and discount schemes. It streamlines operations and supports growth in the retail business. With all the point-of-sale terminals and stores integrated with the head office, the solution saves huge person-hours resulting in reduced administrative costs.


13.    Fast Food Firm Deploys Enterprise Resource System for Supply Chain Management: Fast food chain and domestic appliances manufacturer Muammad Din Sons Limited wanted a business management solution for its expanding interests in Pakistan. Having considered systems from Oracle and SAP, the company standardised on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. Stock levels are managed more effectively, and accuracy in specifying materials requirements at the factory has improved by 400 per cent. Managers now also get performance reports in real time.


14.    UAE Food Firm Boosts Productivity by 40 Percent with Business Management System: Foodco Holding, a prominent food distributor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), wanted new business management software to support its standalone business units more effectively. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner eSolutions Dynamics recommended Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0. Productivity increased by 40 percent in the accounts, payroll, and HR teams, while senior managers receive daily performance reports and comply more easily with stock exchange rules.


15.    Food-Service Company Reduces Time for Custom Analysis from Weeks to Hours: A leading U.S. food-service distributor needed to react more quickly to changes in market and customer data stored in its ERP and CRM systems. The company was using third-party business intelligence software, but creating new analysis models required formal, time-consuming IT projects. To address this issue, the company deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Business users can now perform custom data analysis using familiar Microsoft Excel tools, without the need for IT intervention. Custom analysis now takes hours instead of weeks or months. Faster and more flexible data analysis will help retain customers and obtain new business, and eliminating third-party BI software will save U.S.$75,000 a year. The company also expects to save $450,000 by using SQL Server 2008 R2 data and backup compression features and $250,000 by migrating its data warehouse from IBM DB2 to SQL Server 2008 R2.


16.    Multichannel Retailer Enriches Data, Saves Money, and Decentralizes Decision Making: Studio Moderna sells products in 20 Central and Eastern European countries through multiple sales channels, including television, the Internet, telemarketing call centers, and retail outlets. The company’s complex operations require fast and decentralized decision making—which places heavy demands on its IT systems. In upgrading its data management software, Studio Moderna sought to better unify data from disparate sources. The company will implement Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, which works with Microsoft Excel 2010 for business intelligence and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for collaboration. The new software will consolidate data from multiple IT systems into “one version of the truth,” helping employees make decisions more quickly and reliably. The solution is cost-effective and will help employees do their jobs with less reliance on the IT department


17.    Online Retailer Boosts Productivity with Self-Service Business Intelligence Solution: wanted to provide self-service business intelligence capabilities to improve decision making and enhance the customer experience. In 2010, the company deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Office Professional 2010, and SharePoint Server 2010. Now, customers can access the information they need and employees can use features such as Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel to boost productivity, raise service levels, and foster innovation.


18.    State Owned Enterprise gains valuable insights through Business: New Zealand Post Retail has rolled out a cost effective Microsoft Business Intelligence solution – Business Intelligence, Hyper-V Server, Office, Visual Studio and Windows Vista Enterprise. “For the first time our business users would be able to get a single consistent view of business information presented to them in a clear and consistent format that would allow them to drill down into that information to gain further insights,” says John McDermott, Retail Technology Architect, NZ Post Retail.


19.    Retail Group Deploys Business Management Solution in Less than Three Months: Fiba Retail Group, based in Turkey, had three months to deploy a business management solution to handle its new Gap franchise. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner AXIS Information Technologies led the project, deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 alongside its own AXIS Retail Suite software. The solution, which the partner deployed cost effectively and on time, manages the group’s entire sales, distribution, and supply chain process.


20.    Grocery Chain Achieves Goal: The Right People, at the Right Place, at the Right Time: For more than 50 years the Toronto-based Longo Brothers Fruit Markets (Longo’s), a premium grocery chain, has been celebrated for its high quality food and great service. As the company grew to 19 stores and 3,500 employees, it deployed a collection of workforce management solutions, including an Oracle-based HR application—but Longo’s needed a solution that was easier to use, easier to manage, and resulted in a lower total cost of ownership. Longo’s also needed to ensure that it could continue to use its Ceridian payroll system. To meet these goals, the company chose Dayforce, which runs on the Microsoft Application Platform including Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Moving to Dayforce has provided Longo’s with an improved workforce management solution, an enhanced user experience, and a better view into its business.


21.    Portuguese Retailer Boosts Productivity, Makes Better Business Decisions: Sonae is a Portuguese company that operates food chains and retail stores. Sonae needed to improve its process for sourcing products in international markets. The company relied on formulas in spreadsheets to calculate costs, but the spreadsheets soon became difficult to manage. Maintaining version control, data consistency, and security was challenging. Sonae used Excel Services in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to create a product called PowerSheets, which takes advantage of centrally managed spreadsheets to help users access data and share information to react quickly to changing market conditions. Now, the IT department can ensure higher data accuracy. Efficiency among users has risen, and by improving the quality of its business intelligence, Sonae makes better purchasing decisions, which contributes to lower costs and higher profit margins.


22.    Grocery Retailer Uses Business Intelligence to Strengthen Supplier Negotiations: Grocery retailer Waitrose needed a more efficient business intelligence solution to support buyers’ daily decisions. It designed a solution based on Microsoft® technologies, which pulls reporting and analysis into one place. Buyers can quickly access crucial trading figures and supplier data for use in negotiations, helping the retailer to boost sales and profits.


23.    Trading House Records Major Gain in Net Profits with Business Management Tool: Bhatia Traders, a highly diversified commercial operation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), needed to consolidate its financial reporting by deploying business management software. The company chose Microsoft Dynamics® GP with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Systems (RMS) to achieve a culture change and greater efficiencies in the business. As a result, net profit on sales has increased significantly despite difficult trading conditions.


24.    Retailer Boosts Sales 14%, Cuts Inventory Management Costs 35% with RFID Solution: Like virtually all retailers and all businesses, American Apparel wanted to do more with less at its retail locations—specifically, it wanted to boost store sales while reducing the cost of generating those sales. It met that goal with a solution provided by Xterprise, a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner, and based on Microsoft BizTalk® Server RFID. Radio frequency ID (RFID) tags and readers help employees to get needed merchandise on the retail floor faster than before. As a result, store sales are up 14 percent, margins are up to 65.9 percent, and the labor time and costs spent on handling inventory are down by 35 percent, resulting in better-organized backroom management. American Apparel sees the technology as the first step in an integrated solution that slashes shrinkage and increases customer service, and it is already using the solution to make better decisions in real time.


25.    Specialty Retailer Smoothes Operations for Improved Productivity and Future Profits: Jamba Juice—a leading provider of healthy, on-the-go food and beverages—viewed the economic slowdown as an opportunity to assess its operations and improve efficiencies. The company decided to invest in integrated technology tools that would help its stores run more efficiently and streamline communication. Therefore, Jamba Juice signed a Microsoft® Enterprise Client Access License Suite agreement, saving 50 percent in software costs, and deployed products such as Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and Microsoft Office PerformancePoint® Server 2007. The company already has seen improvements in its productivity, and it expects to enhance its business intelligence capabilities for better decision making. Overall, Jamba Juice anticipates that its use of Microsoft products will result in increased profitability due to a better ability to serve customers and decreased operational costs.


26.    Culver’s Improves Operations with Microsoft Business Intelligence Solution: When Culver’s founders opened their first restaurant, they wanted to set a new standard for quality and freshness in quick-service dining. The recipe for success was simple: use only the best ingredients, prepare each meal to the guest’s order, and serve food with a smile. The approach paid off, and before long Culver’s began franchising restaurants. Culver Franchising Systems, Inc. (CFSI) now owns eight restaurants and franchises 373 others throughout 17 states with the help of 90 employees.


27.    Restaurant Boosts Revenues 2.5 Percent by Giving Performance Data to Managers: Potbelly Sandwich Works is a fast-growing restaurant company. But the information on which Potbelly personnel made business decisions was limited in scope and available only to some of the people who needed it. To address the problem, Potbelly adopted a Microsoft® Business Intelligence solution that consolidates disparate data sources into a central data warehouse. Users access the analysis through scorecards and reports that enable them to drill down into the information. A pilot deployment immediately increased revenues 2.5 percent just by giving restaurant operators insight into the performance of their stores. Executives have visibility into company performance and can identify high performers and “best practices.” The decision to extend an existing investment in Microsoft software saves Potbelly U.S.$300,000 per year—50 percent—in licensing costs compared to a Hyperion system.


28.    Contact Lens Provider Has Clearer Vision of Business with New Data Warehouse: 1-800 CONTACTS, the leading contact lens provider in the world, sells to consumers across the United States through its Web site and toll-free call center. Company management was frustrated with its limited ability to directly access important data and its need to go through IT staff members in order to get timely, reproducible reports. To provide better, faster results, the company created a new data warehouse using Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Integration Services, which is used to define business rules for data that help create consistent, clear business intelligence. The company is also using Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003 to create new intranet sites where users can easily find predefined reports for data analysis. The new technology is helping 1-800 CONTACTS glean better business intelligence to help guide the growing company.


Comments (2)

  1. Nice to see a Microsoft BizTalk Server RFID Case.

  2. Nice set of Case studies, even on RFID/BizTalk.

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